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Fires of change

by: Leah Oathout/Production Manager

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Bilbo Baggins stands before the sealed door of the city under the Lonely Mountain, Erabor
Photo courtesy of The Hobbit official movie website

Where will you be Dec. 13? Hopefully at the movie theater in line for one of the most anticipated movies of the year; The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Fans have been teased and tormented for the last year with small trailers, video blogs from Peter Jackson, gossip from numerous fan sites and speculation galore. Very soon, all of the waiting will pay off. Filled with new characters, incredible CGI and beautiful music, The Desolation of Smaug is another stunning climax in the Lord of the Rings (LOTR) series.

In The Desolation of Smaug trailers, there are too many new characters to count and even more that have not appeared yet. Perhaps the three most important are Tauriel, the lovely red-head elf played by Evangeline Lilly, the poker-faced Elvenking Thranduil played by Lee Pace, and Bard “the Bowman,” played by Luke Evans. Stirring up the most controversy is Tauriel, namely because, as with the Pale Orc, the character does not exist in Tolkien’s book. She plays a key role similar to that of Arewn and Eowyn (LOTR) as the ever-shining light in the looming dark. Like Legolas, she uses a bow and knives, and appears to be just as good if not a bit better with the latter. Continuing with the elf theme, Thranduil will probably be either loved or hated and not much in between. Pace does an impressive job of keeping his expression permanently blank in his role as the cold king of elves who is greatly opposed to the dwarves’ quest to regain their homeland. Finally, the first key Man appears in the form of Bard, a decedent of the Lord of Dale, the city that Smaug destroyed. An accomplished archer, Bard is simply trying to keep what is now Lake-town together when the dwarven company arrives. Both Thranduil and Bard, believe that disturbing Smaug is a terrible idea.

For those who have not read The Hobbit, there will be an old character with a startling new attitude. Legolas Greenleaf, played by Orlando Bloom, is much harder and colder than in LOTR. In a TV trailer, he says, “There is no king under the mountain, nor will there ever be.” Even his fighting style is more vicious and less fun comparatively. It remains to be seen if Tauriel can begin to change his narrow mindset.

CGI has progressed a long way in the last ten years and Weta has been on the front lines this whole time. Now, all their knowledge and technology has brought forth this flying lizard, this “fire-drake from the north,” this creature of fire and flesh, the dragon Smaug. Though many have tried slowing down every trailer and watching frame by frame, none have been successful in getting the first glimpse of finished Smaug’s face, just glowing eyes and fire tickling the back of his throat.

As far as epic music goes, The Desolation of Smaug will match its predecessors note for note. On Nov. 5, Peter Jackson posted “I See Fire,” a powerful song that will play during the credits. Performed by Ed Sheeran, it highlights the main themes of the movie with incredible lyrics and soft acoustic sound. Sheeran not only sings but plays the guitar and violin as well. Howard Shore is still composing all the musical scores for the movie.

For all things LOTR or Hobbit in nature, visit TheOneRing.net. It is the most comprehensive fan site that is kept up-to-date and has all the extra goodies. Peter Jackson’s video diaries can be found on his YouTube channel and the official movie website has downloadable content. So, where will you be Dec. 13? In line for the most anticipated movie of the year, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.


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